Loss of House Rules power saps Dreier’s fundraising

January 11, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgWASHINGTON – San Dimas Republican David Dreier’s fundraising has plunged since Democrats took control of the House and knocked him from a top GOP leadership slot, new federal campaign records show. Dreier, who was unseated as chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee in the November Democratic victory, raised less than $27,000 over the past two quarters. That’s an almost unprecedented low for the prolific fundraiser, who even in nonelection years has been known to raise at least $100,000 in any three-month span and often more than $200,000. “We’ve already seen that when you move from the majority to the minority, there are many jolts. All of a sudden, the lobbyists aren’t too eager to pour money into your coffers,” said Norman Ornstein, a political analyst with the conservative American Enterprise Institute think tank. Dreier said he often takes a fundraising break after elections. Yet records show that was true only once, in the final months after the 2004 election when he raised $20,350. In the next three months, however, he raised more than $164,000. This time around, things have stayed at record lows. He took in $3,380 in the final months of 2006, and only $20,275 in contributions between January and March. At the same time, Dreier and others noted he continues to have nearly $2 million in his coffers, putting him among the 10 most financially secure lawmakers in the House. “I don’t think I have a pressing need,” added Dreier, saying sometimes lawmakers need to take a break from seeking campaign contributions. “Give people a rest,” he said, “including myself.” Among other Southland Republicans, Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, raised $102,800; Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Thousand Oaks, raised $65,793; Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, raised $109,086; and Gary Miller, R-Diamond Bar, took in $35,600. Among Democrats, Rep. Adam Schiff of Pasadena, who now sits on the House Appropriations Committee, raised $89,421; Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Santa Fe Springs, who chairs a House Resources Panel on energy and water issues, raised $37,642. Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Lakewood, who leads a Judiciary subcommittee raised $65,120; and Rep. Hilda Solis of El Monte, a top member of the House Energy Committee, raised $44,470. Pitney also noted that Dreier waged a strong re-election battle in 2004 after conservatives in his district accused him of being soft on illegal immigration. When he easily beat his opponent, Cynthia Matthews, again in 2006, Pitney said, he likely felt financially secure. “He can breathe a little easier,” Pitney noted. “He sat back knowing he has a cushion,” agreed Eric Bauman, chairman of the Los Angeles Democratic Party. But, Bauman argued, he doesn’t believe Dreier can take re-election for granted. “I’m not sure any Republicans bordering on a blue area feel secure,” he said. “We certainly have our eyes on that seat.” [email protected] (202) 662-8731160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Contributions to other Southland Republicans who lost clout in the new Democratic regime have dipped, but none as drastically as to Dreier. Some analysts attributed the sharp decline to the peculiar centralization of power in his former position as chairman of the House Rules Committee. The obscure but powerful panel touches every piece of legislation that goes to the House floor. Its leader decides, often at the bidding of House leadership, everything from how long a bill will be debated to which amendments, if any, will be granted a vote. The Rules Committee is essentially the one in which the party in charge makes its agenda happen. “It’s all or nothing. Either you have the power or you don’t,” said Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont-McKenna College. “If you’re an interest group, you want to make friends with everyone on the Appropriations Committee, whereas it does you no good to court the ranking member of the Rules Committee,” he said. last_img read more